McSweeney's sent a lovely card, rejecting my short piece of fiction, but wasn't it kind of them to ask that I send something else another time. The piece had a political bent and they couldn't use it in any of their upcoming issues. I have to ask, is this a standard rejection? Or do they really mean that I have a chance if I can hit on the right topic?
Even the editor of the Prairie Schooner enclosed a slip of paper that let me know they were taking a pass on the short story I sent. Couldn't use it, but they liked it, and would you have another bit of a story you could pass along?
Rejection is the miserable part of the writing program. Getting form letters from agents is unpleasant but the skin gets thick over time. Somehow, these rejections from a couple of literary magazines were far more palatable. Underlying the notes is the same theme, that maybe I can write a decent sentence and string together a few of them into an interesting paragraph.
Being turned down preys on the mind, jabs at the self-confidence, and the slightest compliment becomes a cause for celebration. Do I have anything else to send? Sweet God in Heaven, if there's nothing written out yet I'll create something. That's what it's all about, on the rocky road. Take a step and fall in a hole, climb out of the hole and take another step. Here's hoping I don't die of old age before I've reached the promised land.